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Chinese opera mask bug (and bonus dubious chemical spotting)

Updated with possible bug ID, see bottom of post:

E sent me a photo he took of this brightly colored centimeter-long bug marching up the stone steps of the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan, China. Since there’s not much going on at home here in AZ, except ongoing wrestling with both the machinery and chemistry of a swimming pool that’s picked a very bad time to become unswimmable, I thought I’d shamelessly post vicariously from China instead.

The shape of the bug’s carapace, coloration and pattern reminded me of something — something Chinese — and, when my brain churned up what it was, I inset an image of it into E‘s bug photo.  And, no, “Chinese opera mask bug” is not the insect’s real name.  I have no idea about insects, so this guy’s identity is a mystery to me.  Any ideas?  It’s probably not poisonous — maybe — but it really wants you to think it is!  And, it’s on the go: note the blurred-with-lightning-fast-action right-hand mid-leg!

And, speaking of poisonous, here’s a sight E caught in a public place in Wuhan: 50 gallon drums of Chloroform rusting under a staircase.  For when you really, really, need to make sure something’s asleep…

(Both photos E.Shock)

Update:

With the help of Google (I searched “red black white hemipteran china”) and the What’s this bug website, I think this guy is the immature form of Lycorma delicatula, which is a Fulgorid leafhopper.  They are native to southern China, but have invaded the Korean peninsula, apparently at least in part through lumber imports, where they are considered a pest (see fun Korean video here).

Posted by Allison on May 31st 2011 10:08 am | No Comments yet
| View cool bug!,E,field trips,Invertebrata,oddities,unexpected category

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